Tonsils are pile of tissue-like things located at the back side of the esophagus. Tonsils are a part of the body’s immune system, and they are designed to protect the body by trapping bacteria or viruses attempting to sneak through the mouth.
As the crevices on the tonsil tissues function to trap harmful germs, macrophages and white blood cells are present within them. Both the macrophage and white blood cells function as ‘exterminators,’ killing off germs, microbes and bacteria. The tonsils can get rid of specific antigen, especially diphtheria, streptococcus or also known as the cause of polio, haemophilus influenza, staphylococcus, and e-coli (to an extent).
There have been many instances where modern medicine necessitates adults and children alike to undergo tonsillectomy; a procedure of surgically removing an infected tonsil. For the record, let me just say that I generally DO NOT recommend tonsillectomy, there’s so much we can do to keep our tonsils healthy. The only thing we need to do is to gain knowledge on how we can prevent our tonsils from having severe problems in the future; effectively eliminating the need for tonsillectomy. And most of the methods and steps to keep your tonsils healthy are DIY treatments.
A research has found that the immunological functions of tonsils far surpasses antibodies found elsewhere in the body. This undoubtedly is due to the fact that the tonsils are among the body’s first line of defense, directly coming into contact with foreign objects.
If due to poor oral hygiene the bacteria, viruses and other harmful particles overwhelm the tonsils, they will increase in size and the colony of germs will then be visible as white spots. This would eventually result in tonsil inflammation and/or tonsillitis.
The symptoms of tonsillitis may vary, but the majority of patients commonly experience a severe pain in the throat, high fever, swollen and red tonsils. In children, if left untreated, tonsillitis may cause myocarditis, mouth ulcers and in extreme cases, even death.
Other symptoms of acute tonsillitis include:
- Shivering or trembling.
- The appearance of whitish or yellowish tissue which sticks onto the tonsils, and will bleed upon removal.
- If the vocal cords are affected, hoarseness will occur.
- Enlarged lymph nodes.
- Foul breath.
- Ear inflammation.
The common therapy for tonsillitis is proper resting and taking antipyretic medications, corresponding antibiotics can also help to remedy its causes. Surgery can only be an option if the size of the tonsils have reached T3 - T4, causing breathing difficulties. Or in the case of diphtheria, it can potentially cause myocarditis as well as abscess on the tonsils.
The conditions determine that the immediate surgery must be done by ENT experts and a professional anesthetist, to prevent complications from occurring. The complications that may arise after undergoing surgery include; mouth bleeding, and even death caused by allergic reactions to anesthetics.
Actually, there are some steps you can follow at home to prevent, treat, and cure tonsillitis. For example:
- Drink plenty of water or juice to reduce the swelling on your tonsils.
- Avoid refrigerated beverages such as; ice, syrup, ice cream.
- Never eat preserved, fried, or sweet containing foods.
- Gargle with warm salty water for 3-4 times a day.
- Daily warm compress on your neck.
- Take antibiotics along with doctor’s prescription to prevent bacterial infection
- If you are undergoing antibiotics therapy, simply staying home for a day or two to rest, and relax can be a very effective remedy.
Some precautionary tips to keep your tonsils healthy:
- Frequently wash your hands using hand soap, and flowing water to reduce the risk of infection. It can be done prior to and following a meal, and also upon entering and leaving the bathroom. This will significantly reduce the chances of germs entering our body.
- Make it a habit to drink from your own glass or cup (and other eating utensils for that matter), and not share them with people. This could prevent germs from entering your body.
- Make an effort to avoid people with tonsillitis to reduce the risk transmission.
- Consult your doctor if you experience pain or swelling on the throat. The sooner the infections are dealt with, the better!
- Change your tooth brush after every infection
- Consume adequate amount of water, and avoid foods or beverages that can stimulate irritation. They include consumption that are really hot, cold, or spicy.
Hopefully, the guidance above can be beneficial in maintaining your tonsil to be healthy, and away from tonsillitis.